[MARMAM] Lesions - Feedback

Stockin, Karen K.A.Stockin at massey.ac.nz
Tue Dec 11 18:26:14 PST 2007

A big thank you to all who responded regarding the identification of
apparent lesions found on Delphinus in New Zealand waters.  Just to
clarify, the lesions in question were the circular speckled marks
evident under the dorsal fin of the photographed animal.  Due to the
light, angle and contrast of the photograph, a few respondents mistook
the query to be about the pale colouration on the dorsal fin.  This in
actual fact is merely dorsal fin pigmentation found commonly in most
Delphinus in NZ waters.  
A range of suggestions were made for the apparent lesions including
fungal infection and a result of possible contact with acidic chemicals.
However, the overwhelming majority of responses suggested consistency
with either tattoo or ring lesions which apparently manifest as a result
of the poxvirus.  Useful further information on this and other viruses
can be found in the following references;
Van Bressem et al. 1999. A review of virus infections of cetaceans and
the potential impact of morbilliviruses and papillomaviruses on host
population dynamics. Disease of Aquatic Organisms 38: 53-65
Van Bressem & Van Waerebeek 1996. Epidemiology of poxvirus in small
cetaceans from the eastern South Pacific. Marine Mammal Science 12:
Many thanks again for your assistance.
Best wishes,
Karen A Stockin
Research Officer
Coastal - Marine Research Group 
Institute of Natural Resources 
Massey University at Albany
Private Bag 102 904 
North Shore MSC 
New Zealand 
Tel:   + 64 9 414 0800 Ext 41127
Fax:  + 64 9 443 9790
Cell:  + 64 21 146 5511
Email:     k.a.stockin at massey.ac.nz
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